I'm lucky enough to live 5 minutes walk from a beautiful trout stream, the river Churnet. On Saturday I was joined by two chaps who I last met when guiding for them on a wild loch on Islay a year or so ago and they had asked me if I'd mind showing them one of my favourite local rivers.
Fishing on the upper Churnet is tricky, but if you are stealthy and you don't mind getting on all fours and crawling through a few bushes and under one or two fences then the angler can be rewarded with some lovely hard fighting fully spotted wild browns, and the odd grayling too. The scenery is as good as any and the wildlife is incredible, kingfishers fire up and down and the river is home to many dippers and other beautiful birds.
Choosing a short rod is definitely an advantage here. I like to use my 6ft 3wt Hardy glass rod, this allows me to get a cast in without getting in to too much of a tangle and feels lovely when playing a fish. Richard was using a 4 and a half foot split cane rod and he was able to put a lovely line out with it. It wasn't long before both lads were landing fish and both were clearly enjoying the afternoon.
The lads were using a few different fly patterns but I find that the klinkhammer always does well. There were a few mayfly coming off in the warm afternoon sun and I'd be tempted to stick one of those on at this time of year. There were plenty of large dark olives coming off and quite a few swarms of gnats and the fish were slashing and jumping at them, particularly in the upper reaches of the beat.
The lads caught a few few fish between them, most quite small but beautifully spotted, but a couple were much bigger, one in particular that gave Richard a right good run around late on in the session was closer to the 2lb mark.
Sam enjoyed sitting on the bank watching the anglers landing the fish but later on started to wonder when his owner might start thinking about arranging his tea so it was with heavy hearts that the lads packed up, having had a great afternoon and we made our way back home and then on to the Earl Grey for refreshments, the favourite of which seemed to be Union Hop from Moor Brewery!
Haste ye back lads and I hope to take you up on your offer of fishing with you down Worthing way sometime in the near future.